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Mon, Dec 11, 2017

Canada Bails On Super Hornet Deal With Boeing

Will Acquire Jets From Australia Rather Than Purchase New Aircraft, Citing Trade Dispute

Boeing's trade dispute with Bombardier has led the Canadian government to cancel its plans to buy 18 Super Hornet jet fighters, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Boeing has accused Bombardier of dumping airliners on the U.S. Market. It filed a complaint with the U.S. Commerce department, which imposed a 300 percent tariff on Bombardier's C-Series airliners. Boeing claimed that the Canadian government illegally subsidized the single-aisle jets and was offering the airplanes at "absurdly low" prices to U.S. carriers.

MSN reports that the Liberal government of Canada has now decided to scrap a deal it had with Boeing for 18 new Super Hornet fighters, opting instead to buy older model F-18s from Australia which are the same variant currently flown by Canada. Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had said late last year that he considered the new fighters a stopgap measure while the government initiated a competition for a permanent replacement for its fleet of aging CF-18 jets.

But with the relationship between Boeing and Bombardier crumbling, and increased trade tensions between the U.S., Canada and Mexico over President Donald Trump's views of NAFTA, the deal may be off, the sources said.

Australia's Ministry of Defense confirmed that Canada had formally expressed interest in several of its F/A-18 Classic Hornets in September.

Canada is expected to formally announce its requirements for a new fighter fleet early next year, beginning the competitive acquisition process.

While Trudeau had initially said that the F-35 built by Lockheed Martin was out of the running because of its cost, LMC will now be able to bid on the contract, according to the report.

(Image from file)

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